A short story about a great company!
By Richard Lowe …. the man behind our beautiful, hand-crafted Masuwe furniture
The African Touch is situated within ‘hearing distance’ of the mighty Victoria Falls. When the Zambezi River is in flood and tumbles over the great cataract that is known locally as Mosi-oa-Tunya, or ‘the smoke that thunders’, that ‘smoke’ (the spray hurled high into the atmosphere) settles gently on our workshop roof.
For 25 years we have been building handcrafted furniture and joinery of exceptional quality from some of the finest hardwoods in the world. The artisans that craft each piece have been trained by the senior team members and most have been with us for 20 years or more. They have mastered the art of the finest solid wood joinery methods. No plywood or other man made boards, used by other makers for drawer bottoms, backs of cabinets and so on, are allowed into our pieces.
All ten senior team members have a stake in the business and take great pride in producing products of exceptional quality, on time and to the correct specifications.
Zambezi Teak is a timber of exceptional density, figured grain and colour. It grows on the deep, ancient Kalahari sands that cover most of our province of Matabeleland North. In all we have 2.8 million hectares of Zambezi Teak forest growing in our province.
These forests have been controlled by the Forestry Commission since 1908. They are responsible for the research, harvesting, fire control and general management of the forests. We purchase our timber from them and these funds assist in looking after these great forests. The volume harvested annually from this huge resource is miniscule compared to the annual re-growth and therefore totally sustainable. Zambezi Teak is also slightly unusual in that when a mature tree is harvested the root system coppices producing many stems to replace the harvested trunk.
We also use Eucalyptus saligna, aka Sydney Blue gum. Saligna is a medium density hardwood that makes wonderful furniture. It was introduced to Zimbabwe in the early 1900s as a fuel source. Since then it has become a pest in many parts of eastern Zimbabwe, with older trees growing up to 50 meters tall and 2 meters in diameter. We purchase the timber from millers who are tasked with removing problem trees and transport it over a thousand kilometers to our workshop in Victoria Falls, to transform it from pest to perfection!
For more information on our products please visit our web site on www.theafricantouch.co.za